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EU Commission Tackles Ireland

category national | environment | other press author Sunday July 15, 2007 01:37author by EU Watch Report this post to the editors

This may be the biggest story published in the newspapers this year.... is anyone paying attention??

(Copy of Sunday Business Post article from SaveTara.Com)

Direct weblink: http://www.savetara.com/articles/2007/070807_ndp.html

Headline: EU challenges €184bn NDP

By: John Burke and Pat Leahy.

Article: The government and the European Commission are on a collision course over the €184 billion National Development Plan (NDP), following a formal warning from the EU that the entire project is in breach of European law.

The Sunday Business Post has learned that EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas sent a letter in the past few days to the government, saying that the commission believed Ireland's failure to conduct a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the project was in breach of a key 2001 EU directive.

Should the commission be successful in its action, aspects of the NDP would have to be halted and undergo a mandatory consultation process with stakeholders and the public, during which it faces major amendment.

The Department of the Environment confirmed that it had received the letter from the commission. It said that it had passed the matter to the Department of Finance.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said that the government was "taking a very firm view that it was not in breach of any directive".

Legal advice had been obtained prior to the drafting and publication of the National Development Plan, he said, which strongly advised that no SEA was required. "The NDP is a budgetary framework document, and doesn't require an SEA. That remains our firm position".

However, it is understood that there is unease among some in government about the possible implications of the commission's action.

The government has been given until next month to reply to the formal warning, after which the EU commissioner can issue a further warning before bringing Ireland to the European Court of Justice to compel compliance.

A spokesman for EU environment commissioner Dimas confirmed that the government had received a formal warning recently, but declined to comment further.

The current phase oft he NDP provides €54.6 billion for investment in economic infrastructure; €49.6 billion for social inclusion measures, such as increased disability spending; €33.6 billion for social infrastructure, including justice; €25.8 billion for schools and higher education, and €20 billion for enterprise, science and innovation.

The commission has also raised concerns over the destruction of an archaeological find at Lismullin in Meath, sanctioned by former minister Dick Roche, connected to the M3 Tara motorway.

© Sunday Business Post, 8th. July 2007.

author by 2001publication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 08:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They go unreported in the Newspapers or are buried by the global crises promulgated
by the US/K. Consistent habitat directive and water safety breaches have occured in this
country, those who have fought them have ended up politically isolated or have had
aggressive campaigns against them including An Taisce, Earthwatch and Friends of
the Earth. The State through the offices of the IMB has also sought to isolate the
alternative health community. But the groups build up and continue to state the facts
about unsustainable policies, especially in educating the young regarding how to
live ethically. The display of bolshi -don't give a fuck- about the next generation but
alone the enrichment of the lobbies has marked the government of Bertie Ahern
more than any other in the history of the state. Failure to respond to global crises
and allowance of globalisation to the detriment of indigenous industry is the hallmark
of their ignorance. the emphasis has always been on the knowledge economy and personal
wealth with badly though out get rich quick schemes. The political left has shown a tremendous
laxity in its ability to engage with these issues- except for the highlighting of Rossport and
Tara as indicative of the general paralysis of political will, indeed, the left has treated
non-hierarchical eco groups with appalling contempt.

author by Niall Harnett - Shell to Seapublication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Should the commission be successful in its action, aspects of the National Development Plan would have to be halted and undergo a mandatory consultation process with stakeholders and the public, during which it faces major amendment.'

Government, state bodies, developers, and foreign private companies have been playing a rigged game with regard to environmental assessments for years, cos the Irish people are asleep.

We waking up now though.

author by Look at the Lawspublication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Housing Bill (miscellaneous provisions) 2002.
'The Trespass Law.'

The Abolition of Duchas 2003

The National Monuments Act (amended 2004)

The Strateigc Infrastructure Bill 2006.

The FF/PD regime failed to transpose the AArhus Convention into Irish
law but sought alone to transpose elements of it into the SIB, thereby
reducing the community and citizen right to access Judicial process
in relation to opposing fast-track planning.
The 'one -off housing bill'.

There has been no separate raft of legislations to ensure heritage
protection. There is no statutory body charged with the implementation
of preserving our heritage.

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